14 Simple Ways To Love Your Socially Anxious Self

14 Ways To Love Your Socially Anxious Self

There’s a time and place for working on overcoming anxiety, and there’s a time and place for going easy on yourself. Let this post be your gentle reminder to practice the latter when you need it.

On that note, here are 14 ways to practice a little self-love if you struggle with anxiety. (And even if you don’t. You deserve self-love too, you functional adult, you.)

These ideas do not involve extensive interaction with other humans or lofty goals like going for a walk through your neighborhood–because that’s where the people are, and I don’t know about you, but if I am having a social anxiety flare-up, I need solutions that are low-stress.

I’m excited to hear what you think of the list.

Note: None of the links are affiliates or sponsors — just things I like.

#14: Read a book that soothes your trigger areas

Three areas I have experienced a lot of anxiety are perfectionism, pregnancy, and parenting. These books have made a world of difference to me:

Whatever you struggle with (body image? self-esteem? hair pulling?), there’s almost certainly a book that can help.

#13: Get super silly

My kids and I always get a ridiculous laugh out of the filters on Messenger. I highly recommend them.

We sent this to a friend to say, “Have a good niiiiiiiight!” And we laughed our wee heads off.

Remember: You don’t have to actually send the video to anyone if you don’t want to.

#12: Remember your awesomeness

This only works if you’re not feeling like a total self-care rebel (à la “No, I will NOT do anything constructive for myself *foot stomp*). (It happens to the best of us…)

Try listing 3 things that you are quite sure are not-shit about yourself. For example, mine would be:

  1. I make people laugh sometimes.
  2. I have the power to create other human beings.
  3. My hot chocolate is my husband’s favourite.

#11: Reach out

If you’re not feeling TOO far gone into hermit mode, it can be nice to connect lightly, gently, quietly with another human, even if all you can manage is a heart emoji by text message. Sometimes that’s all it takes to get the ball rolling.

Actually, with one friend, we use the heart emoji as my code for “I see your message and I’m thinking of you, but I’m too caught up in anxiety right now to engage.” (A friend who will do that for you is GOLD.)

Related reading: 💜 To the Friends of Those With Social Anxiety 💜

#10: Reach in

Basically this comes down to self-compassion.

Just give yourself an inner pat on the back.

Sometimes I (silently) tell myself things like, “You’ll get through this.” or “You feel anxious, and that’s okay.”

#9: Get warm

I learned this from a podcast episode by The Savvy Psychologist on 4 Surprising Ways Depression Affects Your Body (bold emphasis is my own):

A recent Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) study gave depressed participants just one session of whole-body heat treatment using infrared heat. The study showed that, even a whole week later, participants  who received the heat treatment experienced less depressive symptoms than those who got a sham treatment without heat.

So, if you struggle with depression, one inexpensive way to give yourself some relief may be to take a hot bath or do some hot yoga.

From 4 Surprising Ways Depression Affects Your Body

Here are four ways I use heat:

  • I like to take a bath after therapy, when I’m most drained.
  • I lie on a heating pad for a few minutes at bedtime every night. It helps me sleep and relax. (Actually, I just bought a replacement pad because the one my mom-in-law gave me finally died. THAT was a sad day.)
  • I have a microwaveable rice bag that my friend made for me years ago.
  • I ingest much tea (more on tea below).

#8: Do an anxiety meditation

I don’t meditate much. (I have this bad habit of resisting things that are “obvious” methods of self-care. I don’t know why… something something self-sabotage, maybe?)

But anyway, when I really need help stopping the thought-vortex, meditation is occasionally what I turn to, whether it’s for morning encouragement, mid-day relief, or sleep help.

I’ve been meaning to try Headspace, but for now I use the Insight Timer app’s free collection. They have a whole collection for anxiety specifically.

My favourite teacher is Aluna Moon because of her soothing voice and the fact that a lot of her content is short and also caters to my mom angst:

Aluna Moon courses in Insight Timer
Some of Aluna Moon’s courses in Insight Timer.

I also like her Peaceful Sleep Meditation.

#7: Listen to a podcast

Podcasts are great for keeping my mind from going to blah and meh places, especially when I’m doing busywork but my mind is not occupied (and therefore free to spiral).

Here are two of my go-tos:

#6: Make it dark

Dark is cozy.
Photo by Designecologist from Pexels

This might just be me, but darkness is like a cocoon when the world feels a little too big.

I love taking a shower in the dark after the kids go to bed (bonus: heat therapy!).

#5: Normalize your body

If you experience body-related anxiety or insecurities like me (I learned that this is fairly common for those of us with social anxiety), one thing to try is to hop on Instagram and see the bad-ass content creators on there who are working to normalize all bodies and encourage healthier relationships with ourselves.

Some of my faves:

View this post on Instagram

Do you have expectations about how your body “should” look? In my past, I used to have ALL the expectations. In fact, not only did I have an idea of what it should look like but I had a weight attached to that as well. An arbitrary number that I wouldn’t be happy until I reached. And yet, every time I achieved that number, I was never truly happy. All the time and effort spent chasing this ideal and this number and yet I couldn’t keep this weight off so I must be a failure right? ⠀ ⠀ Maybe instead of thinking about what our bodies should look like, we could focus on what our bodies can do and work towards achieving wellness within that framework. Meeting our bodies where they are at without arbitrary numbers and body shape expectations. Loving and embracing them and focusing on how they feel and not how we think they should look.⠀ ⠀ I feel that even more when looking at my postpartum body. There is all sorts of pressure to get your “body back” and a huge expectation on how long that should take. But as I lay on a beach chair on my most recent vacation, I knew that my body was exactly where it should be. It’s moved with kindness and respect for its journey that it has been on. It’s been fuelled without being deprived and it’s been embraced where it is without a number attached to the outcome. ⠀ ⠀ #intuitiveeating #intuitiveexercise #embrace #bodypositivity #antidiet #kindness #coachlife #respect #bodylove #sparkthechange

A post shared by Jen Jones-Miller (@thebodypositiveparent) on

There are so many more. I could write a whole post on my favourite accounts and the uplifting work they’re doing.

And if you need a little extra love, check out my post You (Yes, You) Are Beautiful. xoxo

#4: Eat

Hunger + Anxiety = Hanxiety (Hanger 2.0).

I once cried the whole way to my favourite local Mexican restaurant because I was afraid it would be closed and I wouldn’t get my enchilada platter. (I was very pregnant and it was my birthday and we were running late.)

It was not closed. I got my enchiladas.

Moral: Pregnant, anxious, and hungry do NOT mix.

Just eat if your body needs to eat.

#3: Tea

Tea is warm and soothing and smells nice and it is a truth universally acknowledged that a tea-lover in possession of a kettle must be in want of a mug. Or… something.

Here’s your mug.
Photo by John-Mark Smith from Pexels

My favourites at the moment:

#2: Doodle

Ideally something funny. Like this:

I challenge you to draw a bumblebee ninja.

You will not be able to beat this rendition by a friend who shall remain nameless–unless she chooses to out herself as the bee-ninja artist she is–but your attempts will probably entertain you and anyone you show:

Update: She doesn’t mind being named. Everyone tell Julie how amazing she is and which bee you like best (left, middle, or right). I chose the bee on the right. (This was in her congratulations card to me when I was pregnant with James. We called him Bumblebee at the time. We still exchange many LOOOOLs and BAHAHAHAHs about this drawing to this day.)

#1. And the ultimate way to love your socially anxious self…

Wait for it…

Photo by @thegardenpics // More info in this article // My husband 100% sees the newer version of this on his way to work every day.

Think about it:

No partner = No performance anxiety.

Just sayin’.

(It’s a little more nuanced than that, as you might expect. Anxiety is rarely straight-forward. Read more here.)

There you have it!

Soooo… Would you try any of these ideas? Am I going to get to see some bumblebee ninjas? I will 100% accept bumblebee ninjas in my email inbox (blushygingersadie [at] gmail.com) or on Instagram or Facebook!

Go love your fabulous self in the way you like best!

And I’d be tickled pink if you’d consider sharing this with someone who could use a little pick-me-up today. xoxoxoxo

P.S. Word of loving advice from someone who does this very thing: Try not to let yourself get anxious at the thought of having to try ALL THE THINGS RIGHT NOW. Pick and choose, or come up with your own idea(s). Just go easy on yourself. 🙂

And remember:

View this post on Instagram

Have you heard of the Best Friend Technique for challenging toxic thoughts?⁣ 🌻⁣ It’s a way of shutting down your inner bully by asking you to imagine what you would say if you were talking to your best friend instead of yourself.⁣ 🌻⁣ Many of us are so much more loving and compassionate to our friends—even to strangers—than we are to ourselves.⁣ 🌻⁣ I try to remember the best friend technique when I’m thinking about my body in an anxious or negative way.⁣ 🌻⁣ What would I say to you, the person taking time out of your day to read this post? If I heard you tearing yourself down because of how you look, what would I want you to hear?⁣ 🌻⁣ I would tell you that you are beautiful, and that the word beautiful is a lot bigger than the narrow definition we often give it. That your imperfect body is okay. Good enough.⁣ 🌻⁣ I would tell you that, no, it’s not necessarily “bad” to want to lose a few pounds or many, or to make dietary changes or other healthy lifestyle tweaks. But your measurements do not determine your worth as a person.⁣ 🌻⁣ And whatever “weird” thing your body does that you think makes you unattractive somehow? I’m SURE your body isn’t the only one that does that.⁣ 🌻⁣ We’re all a lot less weird and alone than we think. The parts you dislike are not actually all that dislikeable from the outside. Stretch marks and cellulite. Acne and scars. Frizzy hair. Flat hair. Big nose. Small nose. Short toes. “Thin.” “Curvy.” Short. Tall. Old. Young.⁣ 🌻⁣ These words… they are just words. They are not synonyms for who you are.⁣ 🌻⁣ Other people do not see you the way you see yourself.⁣ 🌻⁣ You are so much more than the individual parts you dislike. And if the sum of those parts translates in your mind to a number on the scale, then you are worth MORE than that number, not less.⁣ 🌻⁣ What would you say to your best friend, if she was cutting herself down about her appearance? Can you say those things to yourself?⁣ 🌻⁣ Don’t worry. I’m still working on getting there, too.⁣ 🌻⁣ Sadie xoxo

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23 thoughts on “14 Simple Ways To Love Your Socially Anxious Self

          1. I used to drink black tea with milk, but when I went to university, I tried it without milk out of sheer laziness (I didn’t want to leave my room to go to the fridge in the communal kitchen!) and discovered I like the slightly bitter taste. I’ve drunk it without milk ever since.

            Liked by 1 person

  1. Some excellent suggestions here, even for those who don’t necessarily suffer from social anxiety. In particular, I like drinking green tea, listening to meditation podcasts on Insight Timer, relaxing in a dark room, and warming up in the sauna at the gym. No comment on #1.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🤣 probably safe

      What meditations are you liking?

      I didn’t know you liked darkness too 🙂

      I forgot about saunas! And I used to really love hot yoga. I should do it again. I didn’t know about heat being so beneficial back then.

      Like

  2. We like how you make self-care fun. You make most things fun. We are very low so that doing some of these will be medicine.
    We love black tea. We usually drink it iced, even in winter (and today was the coldest day of the year). Anything with the word “breakfast” in the title preceded by a country name. We lived in the Petroleum Belt of Texas and the local drinking water was putrid. We had to flavor it and neither Spouse nor we drink sugary stuff, so we settled on tea and brew a big pot (and ice it) every day.
    We thought that was Kristin Bell!
    Yes, walking the neighborhood while anxious is like riding a roller coaster when you have to emergency pee.
    For us, meditation is just us. No listening to things except what is alive in us. This is the scariest part of being a human alone, wethinks. We have phrases we say, body scans, problem-solving steps (R-A-I-N), big picture (just name and watch experiences in us float by), flying (in every direction in a limitless sky), safe place (It’s a real place; lots of birdies chirping!), etc.
    Happy Valentine’s Day, Sadie.

    Like

    1. I appreciate the time you took to write such a thoughtful comment (as you so often do)! And you’ve given me food for thought.

      First — putrid water?! That sounds dreadful. This is an example of how easy it is to forget what we have: how often do I feel gratitude for the fact that my tap water is totally drinkable?

      And you’re right, it is Kristin Bell! In her character as Veronica Mars. I should update the caption for clarity, thank you!

      I loved this line: “walking the neighborhood while anxious is like riding a roller coaster when you have to emergency pee.” (I call it anxious peeing but I love your term for it.)

      I am a little afraid to meditate unguided… what might I find within?

      Happy Valentine’s Day to you all, too. 🙂 xoxoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve really enjoyed The Road Less Traveled, The Alchemist and this isn’t a self help book but I love On The Road it has really inspired me to get out of my shell and explore outside my comfort zone.

        Liked by 1 person

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